Fixed classrooms remain unused

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Monday, June 2, 2014


SOME schools in Mandaue City were not able to use their newly repaired classrooms during Monday's first day of classes, as they still await clearance from City Hall for the use of the rooms.

In Labogon National High School, some of the classes were held in a covered court, although the repairs on 14 classrooms damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15 were completed last month.

“We’re waiting for the City to give us a certificate that the buildings are fit for occupancy,” Principal Jocelyn Villamor told Sun.Star Cebu on Monday. “We can’t take the risk of holding our classes in the repaired classrooms without clearance from the City.”

City Administrator James Abadia assured that the Office of the Building Official will finish the inspection of the repaired classrooms within the week.

Abadia, in a separate interview, said the City will go ahead with the inspection and the issuance of clearance to schools although some paperwork related to contracts with the companies that undertook the repairs have yet to be completed.

Repair works were done in 23 elementary and high schools.

Before the mayor can enter into a contract, he or she has to get an authority from the City Council, which also has to ratify the contract.

Delays

Abadia said some contractors went on with the repairs after being declared the winning bidder, although no contract has been signed yet.

“They undertook the repair works at their own risk,” he said, but added that the contracts are now being sorted out.

Edgar Espina, a member of the local school board and the president of the Mandaue City Public Schools Teachers Association, said he hopes that the giving of clearance to schools will not be delayed too long.

“We waited for months for the repairs of the classrooms to start. I hope we won’t wait for months again to be able use the rooms,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

While waiting for the City’s go-signal to use the classrooms, Principal Villamor of the Labogon National High School said they will implement double shifting of classes.

Shifts

First year and second year students will have their classes in the morning, while third year and four year students will have their turn in the afternoon.

“We had to shorten the period for every subject from one hour to 45 minutes,” Villamor said.

About 800 students went to the school yesterday, but the number is expected to rise with the coming of late enrollees.

The school was left with only five classrooms after the earthquake, which damaged two school buildings with 18 rooms.

Classes for at least five sections were held in the covered court inside the school. The City provided the school with plywood to create partitions inside the covered court.

Villamor said the covered court has no walls to shield the students and teachers completely from the sun and the rain. (RSB)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 03, 2014.

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